Nature Foundation Replaces Marine Park Marker Buoys


Photo: Nature Foundation Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area Marker Buys

Caption: The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has replaced the marker buoys for the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area over the course of last week. The buoys are placed in order to designate the boundaries of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park so that the various vessels sailing in St. Maarten waters are aware that they are entering into the Marine Park.

The boundaries of the Marine Park are between 18̊ ̊N and 17 ̊-57.0 N and 63 ̊-01.03 W and 63 ̊-04.05 W, in an area better known as "the Proselyte Reef Complex ". This area includes the island’s most ecologically and economical important marine habitat, including extensive coral reef areas and seagrass beds. The Man of War Shoal Marine Park is a home and migratory stop over or breeding site for 3 IUCN Red List Species, 10 CITES Appendix I species and 89 Appendix II species. It is an area with a relatively healthy population of marine mammals including migratory whales and dolphins, numerous species of shark, sea turtles and numerous fish species. Studies conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation have shown that biodiversity in this area, particularly coral reef density, is high and the economic goods and services which the ecosystem provides are in excess of fifty million dollars annually. Fishing, the removal of organisms alive or dead, the removal of shells or corals and anchoring is strictly prohibited within the Boundaries of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park.